Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, December 31, 2020

This is How Conspiracy Theories Gain Oxygen

China has been clamping down on research into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, trying to make sure that science serves the interests of the state and the CCP.

Clmping down on science and being opaque is how conspiracy theories can gain traction. China is hiding the truth. So while it's highly unlikely that the Chinese engineered COVID-19 (why would they kill offf thouands of their Han citizenry) and cripple the economy of a major city), the mere fact that the Chinese are hiding shit implies that they have something to hide.

And that is where the conspiracy theorists come in....

There Are No Second-Place Winners, Josh

That is true for elections, but Josh Hawley doesn't understand that.

81 million Americans are not going to be told, even though they voted for the fucking winner, that the Republicans overturned the election.

#SoreLoser indeed.

For a guy who went to an Ivy-league school and who claims to be a "constitutional lawyer", Hawley is unclear on how elections are run and he certainly doesn't understand numbers.

81 million is a larger number than 74 million. 306 is a larger number than 232. Or, if you like, the votes of 81 million trump the votes of 74 million.

Your guy lost, Josh. Grow a pair and grow the fuck up.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Don't Let the Storm Door Hit You In the Ass, Johnny-Boy

Jonathan Pollard, the former US Navy analyst who spent 30 years in prison for spying for Israel, has flown to Tel Aviv a month after a travel ban ended.
...
The Pollards flew to Israel from the US state of New Jersey on board a private jet owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam.

Too bad that Adelson won't be joining Pollard in exile. Pollard is a traitor. Those who are American citizens and who have been supporting Pollard are, to my mind, tarred by the same brush.

El Trumpo: "Nobody Will Be Talking About Covid the Day After the Election!"

In a pig's eye.


Meanwhile, Operation Warp Speed is chugging along at about 1/10th impulse power:

The largest immunization campaign in U.S. history is off to a slow start, dimming hopes, at the end of a dismal year, of an imminent return to normal.

In some places, the vaccination campaign — among the most complex logistical efforts undertaken in peacetime — has been marked by chaos and confusion. Many medical workers who believe they should have priority access are finding that inoculation remains elusive. And most states moved into the third week of immunization not yet beginning to get shots to long-term care facilities, which have been epicenters of infection.

The result is the delayed administration of vaccines during the deadliest month of the pandemic so far. As of Wednesday, 12.4 million doses had been distributed nationally, while 2.6 million had been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why anyone would have expected that the vaccination campaign would not be as shambolic as the rest of Trump's response to the pandemic is proof of the triumph of hope over reality.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Imbeciles for Christ

Two Albuquerque [NM] megachurches have been fined after the state says both violated the public health order with massive, unmasked services on Christmas Eve.

Both churches face up to a $10,000 fines, $5,000 for violating the public health order limiting houses of worship to 25% capacity and another $5,000 for violating the mask mandate.

Anyone who went to those services and who then develops a bad case of Covid should be offered the services of their preacher and a morphine drip. Serious medical intervention should be reserved for those who didn't go out and play Jesus Roulette during a deadly pandemic.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Just Going to Leave These Here





Trump Caves, Finally

President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package, ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the bipartisan deal that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown.

I don't get what Trump thought he might achieve with his fit of childish pique. His own peole negotiated the bill, then he threw them all under the bus at the very end, before ultimately caving in. He says wants changes, but the second session of the 116th Congress ends in six days, so that's not happening.

Other than looking like a half-mad douchebag, what did he manage to accomplish?

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Jon Swift Memorial Annual Roundup of Blogs

Can be found here.

Things Are Not Going to Get Any Better

First, keep in mind that a majority of Republican legislators in the House of Representatives have supported Trump's coup attempt.

Second, Republicans are hell-bent on making it harder for those people to vote.

Third, their party leader is tacitly endorsing violent street protests in the hopes of being able to somehow overturn the election.

What we have, now, is a country where a significant minority of the population does not believe in free and fair elections. They believe in trying to tilt the process as much as they can, by restricting the right to vote to those people. If, despite their rigging the process, the other side wins, then the election had to have been stolen, a belief that they hold without any proof other than that ginned up by QAnon-grade conspiracy whackaloons.

If they lose, then they think that they should be able to declare martial law and throw out the election results and govern by force.

I don't think that we can have a functioning democracy under such circumstances. The saving grace, this time, was that the clown who wanted to pull off the coup was as incompetent in coup-planning as he was at governing or at being a businessman. There were enough responsible people, those who believed in the rule of law and the Constitution, who were in nodes of power and were able to derail the attempt. The legion of Trumpanzees who were advocating for a coup mostly were keyboard commandos who were not willing to do anything more than run their yaps on the Internet.

But that is no guarantee that the next time some wannabee dictator tries to overturn the results of an election, that he won't be able to do it.

I agree that a loser is entitled to fairly litigate the loss. But that does not mean filing complaints that are lacking in foundation of any kind. The lawyers who filed most of these bullshit actions did so under either penalty of perjury or under ethical rules that require an attorney to have a legitimate basis for the action. They need to be held to account.

The only way that I see to stave off another attempt is to make sure that those behind this one pay a bitter price for their actions.

But I don't see that happening. Just as letting a kid who tortures animals go unpunished and untreated makes it more likely that a new serial killer, dope addict or real estate agent will be forthcoming, not holding those who participated in Trump's witless coup makes it more likely that we will have a serious coup attempt one day.

Dave Barry's Look at 2020

We’re trying to think of something nice to say about 2020.

Okay, here goes: Nobody got killed by the murder hornets. As far as we know.

That’s pretty much it.

In the past, writing these annual reviews, we have said harsh things about previous years. We owe those years an apology. Compared to 2020, all previous years, even the Disco Era, were the golden age of human existence.

This was a year of nonstop awfulness, a year when we kept saying it couldn’t possibly get worse, and it always did.

It was indeed a year that can be designated as a Category Five Shitstorm.

.356 TSW Revival?

Massad Ayoob has written about a possible revival of the .356 TSW.

I don't know too much about the cattridge. I saw a 5906 chambered in that in a used case a long while ago and passed over it. My feeling is that Ayoob is right in that marketing the gun as a match toy rather than a self-defense autoloader with the power of a full-on .357 Magnum was a serious mistake.

It could go somewhere this time around, but I'd not bet too heavily on it. It seems that there are a number of LE agencies who are of the opinion that a .40 S&W was a little too hot to handle for some officers, to the point that it took more ammo and training time over a 9mm.

For those who like traipsing around in rough country and who like the idea of having a gun with the power of a .357 and with 17 or so rounds on board, a Glock 17 with a .356 TSW kit may be quite attractive. Besides that, if it's stolen, it may be easier to recover because of the need for an obscure cartridge.[1]
______________________
1. This is no shit: Some years ago, a gun collector's home was burglarized. His collection was of mostly 19th Century rifles with now-obscure cartridges. So the cops sent all of the gun shops in a good distance a list of those cartridges, with a note that said "if someone you don't know comes in, looking to buy any of these, please give us a call."
Sure enough, a couple of months later, a couple of critters walked into Pappy's Bait and Guns store, looking for something like .577 Martini. The clerk told them that the store didn't have any on hand, but to come back next Saturday morning and they'd have some. The critters came back at the specified time and had a nice, unplanned and productive meeting with the cops.

Still One of My Favourite Stories

One of our long-term critters -- part-time dope dealer, occasional thug and full-time poster child for retroactive abortions -- has now become an object lesson.

It has a happy ending.

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Sikorsky S-64 doing a hoisting job in Chicago, three years ago.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Dear Lindsey Graham: With Love, Go and Fuck Yourself

Even George Will knows that Graham is full of shit:

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the malleable South Carolinian, says the time has come for “a dialogue about how we can finally begin to address the debt.” Finally the time is at last ripe. Which means a Democratic administration approaches.

Graham is practicing a good old Republican con that goes all the way back to Ronald Reagan: Scream about the deficit when a Democrat is in the White House and then run up the deficit when Republicans are in charge. For when they're in charge, they don't give a shit.

Well, if he's so concerned about it, let's start by repealing Trump's tax breaks for the rich. Then maybe Bush II's. And then maybe lift the cap on Social Security taxes, or keep it in place and then lift it for people making over a million a year. Or let's tax capital gains over a certain amount as ordinary wages, and nail those fucking Wall Street thieves.

But that won't happen. The Republicans always keep making life better for the rich and keep stamping down, harder and harder, on the middle class and the working poor. Republicans have connived in the hollowing out of the American economy, to the point that a casual observer woudld have cause to wonder if theywere in cahoots with the Communist Chinese.

The Party of Trump is getting ready to transition back to being the Party of Hoover.

Speaking of that orange-haired asshole, it appears that the reason why Trump is blowing up the coronavirus relief bill is because Republicans were insufficiently loyal to him in supporting his coup attempt.

Caturday

A seasonal cat:

And his brother:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Rocky-ish Cat


Because Xmas.

When Typos Speak the Truth; Legalistic Freudian Slip Ed.


This is from one of the bullshit actions filed by Trumpist lawyers.[1]

So much losing.
__________________________________
1. You know, one of those clowns who will probably be disbarred, sooner or later though, on the other hand, Orly Taitz hasn't been.

Yule Log, 2020 Style

A dumpster fire to warm your heart:



A version in a real dumpster:

Because It's Friday

Xmas steam:



You can go back to the beginning if you want to watch all of the shunting.

Happy Christmas!

It's Probably a Good Idea Not to Take Russia's "Sputnik" Vaccine

Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky, a Russian scientist who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine, was found dead after reportedly falling from a 14th floor window of a high rise flat in St Petersberg, Russia. Kagansky's body also had stab wounds on it.

The 45-year-old was in his underwear when he fell to his death. The police have stated that the scientist also suffered a stab wound, according to Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK).

Defenestration seems to be a favorite method in Russia of dealing with inconvenient people. Doctors who were complaining about how hospitals were dealing with the pandemic. Invonvenient journalists. As the Russians have found out, shooting or poisoning people leads to a lot more blowback

So the question is whether or not there is a problem with Russia's vaccine that made it advisable to toss one of the scientists involved out a window.

Xmas Caturday



Merry Xmas! I hope that Santa was good to you and yours.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Twenty Years Ago

This is an Icom A20 portable aircraft radio:


Twenty or more years ago, when I went to an airport to pick up incoming guests, I'd bring the radio with me and an index card with the relevant frequencies. I would sit in a coffee shop in the concourse with the radio tuned to either Approach Control or the tower and listen for the incoming flight of my guests. When the flight was cleared to land, I'd go through security and meet my guests at their gate.

Easy-peasy.

That all changed just over nineteen years ago for obvious reasons. I haven't dared to bring that radio with me since.

PA Voter Fraud Uncovered

Yes, there was a case of a guy who registered dead people to vote.

It was a Republican, who registered two dead relatives and voted absentee for his mother, who has been dead since Bush II was in power.

He's been indicted.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Yep

Achmed the Dead Terrorist on 2020:

Pass the Popcorn; Libel Action Ed.

A defamation law firm representing Dominion Voting Systems has sent letters to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani instructing them to preserve all records related to the company at the center of Trump's conspiracy theories and warning Giuliani that legal action is "imminent."

Through two well-known defamation attorneys, Dominion Voting Systems sent letters to Cipollone and Giuliani Tuesday, demanding Giuliani stop making "defamatory claims against Dominion" and ensure there is "no confusion about your obligation to preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company." The attorneys told Cipollone their preservation request is vast and includes conversations White House officials had with attorneys like Giuliani or Sidney Powell regarding Dominion.

A Dominion executive has already sued a passel of people and organizations in the Right Wing Noise Machine:

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Colorado district court, [Dominion's director of product strategy and security, Eric] Coomer's lawyers say the allegations are "false and baseless" and have caused "immense injury to Dr. Coomer's reputation, professional standing, safety, and privacy."
...
The lawsuit names as defendants the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Trump adviser Sidney Powell, conservative media outlets One America News Network and Newsmax Media, the right-wing website Gateway Pundit, and Colorado businessman and activist Joseph Oltmann, among others.

As anyone who has sat through more than five minutes of a presentation on libel law, truth is an absolute defense to a libel claim. But these clowns are going to have to have proof that is acceptable to a court, which isn't a bunch of QAnon conspiracy horseshit.

This could be fun to watch. Pass the popcorn.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Most Significant Terrorist Threat in This Country is From the White Supremacists of Y'All Qaeda

White supremacists plotted to attack power stations in the southeastern U.S., and an Ohio teenager who allegedly shared the plan said he wanted the group to be “operational” on a fast-tracked timeline if President Donald Trump were to lose his re-election bid, the FBI alleges in an affidavit that was mistakenly unsealed.
...
The Ohio teen, who was 17 at the time, also shared plans with a smaller group about a plot to create a power outage by shooting rifle rounds into power stations in the southeastern U.S. The teen called the plot “Light’s Out” and there were plans to carry it out in the summer of 2021, the affidavit states.

One group member, a Texas native who was a Purdue University student at the time, allegedly sent the informant a text saying “leaving the power off would wake people up to the harsh reality of life by wreaking havoc across the nation.”

A lot of these guys are from the Loud-Mouthed Militia, but some number of them are as serious as a stroke. The good thing is that most of them are too dumb to break the code on the likelihood of informants being in their ranks.

The bad thing is that Trump's going to spin these people up because of his butthurt over the election.

Arm Braces and the ATF, or,
Tell Me Again How Trump Has Been Good for Gunnies

ATF is attempting to push through a "clarification" reclassifying the 8-year old approved pistol braces as Class 3 ATF tax stamped SBRs... in some configurations.

I'll admit that I haven't paid a lot of attention to this issue. My gut feeling, back when the pistol braces came out, was that they were a nifty way of skirting arund the SBR rules.

ATF has a tendency to operate on pornography rules, in that they know it when they see it. That makes it pretty difficult for manufacturers, who I believe did submit these things to ATF at the start, to figure out how to comply with the mercurial nature of ATF bureaucracy.

The pernicious thing, here, is that ATF may require everyone who bought one to retroactively register it as a SBR.[1] I have no idea how many of these things have been sold, but it could be into six or seven figures. Vhanging the rules after the products have been sold is just evil and is in keeping with ATF's tradition.[2]
____________________________
1. There may have been some intervening boating accidents.
2. This is with the Republicans still in charge, mind you. So when Trump went to those conventions to tell NRA members that he has their back, it was just another lie from The Donald.

Trump Supporters Need to Decide Where Their Loyalties Lie

With Trump entertaining talks about a military coup, one must put this question to Trump loyalists:

Where do your loyalies lie? Are you loyal to the Constiution of the United States (the thing that everyone in the military and the government has taken an oath to uphold) or to Trump?

For now, it is clear: You cannot be loyal to both. If you think that you can be, with all due respect and love, you are lying to yourself.

Just like this deluded person:

Cry Me a River; COVID Ed.

Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old woman from Georgia, is facing a four-month prison sentence in the Cayman Islands for violating the territory's COVID-19 quarantine protocols for visitors.
...
Mack flew to Grand Cayman on Nov. 27 to visit her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, a 24-year-old resident who was participating in a Jet Ski competition, their attorney, Jonathon Hughes, told BuzzFeed News. She tested negative for COVID-19 on arrival, according to a Cayman Islands Government press release.

As per the Caribbean nation's regulations, Mack was required to self-isolate for 14 days at a residential address upon her arrival. She was fitted with a geofencing wristband and issued a cellphone to monitor her movements during the isolation period, Hughes said. She also signed a document that forbade her from removing her wristband and leaving her residence during the 14-day period.

She deliberately broke quarantine and went to a public event and now has to pay the price for it. My guess is both she and her boyfriend figured they'd get a slap on the wrist, if even that. From the details of the story, that, apparently, was the plan all along.

It didn't work out that way. Apparently, enough people were breaking the quarantine law that the Grand Cayman government strengthened the law and Mack got caught up in it.

And now, her family is all over the morning news shows with a variant of an affluenza defense.

Cry me a river. As the song goes, don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Monday, December 21, 2020

May to December

Last May, the House of Representatives sent a second COVID relief bill to the Senate. Only now has the Senate gotten serious about getting something enacted.

Key for Trump was restoring the three-martini lunch deduction. Not that's going to help the restaurant industry that much. They're facing an extinction-level event in this pandemic; restaurant workers and owners don't have the same good lobbyists that the airline industry has.

I am certain that if there was not a critical pair of run-off elections pending in Georgia, McConnell and his pack of seditious trolls would not have done a bloody thing. They would have been cheerfuly letting those two clowns engage in insider trading to their hearts' content.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

PSA: Today's Caturday has Been Repaired

Just so you know. It's here.

Of Course Trump Has Putin's Back

Contradicting his secretary of state and other top officials, President Donald Trump on Saturday suggested without evidence that China — not Russia — may be behind the cyber espionage operation against the United States and tried to minimize its impact.

Is there any doubt anymore whether or not Putin has Trump in his pocket? Putin could launch an ICBM into this country and Trump would dismiss it was fake news.

Police Response in a Mass Shooting

Just remember this:  The cops can stand around outside with their thumbs up their asses and wait for the shooter to run out of ammo (or victims) and there is fuck-all you can do about that.  If the cops in Coward Broward County don't mind being regarded as glass-jawed bullies with guns, you have no recourse.

There is nothing new in any of this. There's plenty of judicial opinions about this, if you care to look. Oh, if two of the doughnut-munchers watch you getting carjacked and killed and they don't do anything because they're Code 7 for a break, their department may discipline and even fire them for dreliction of duty and/or cowardice, but there is fuck-all you can do about that. Police have a duty to society, not to any individual members of it.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Just Going to Leave These Here







Console Jockeys to be Called "Guardians"

This is no shit:

I gather that "space cadets" or "space cases" was too obvious. But "guardians", for a bunch of people whose office uniforms could be cocktail dresses and heels?

One of the first acts of the next administration should be to disestablish this rump "force" of noncombatants.

Caturday

Feeding time!


Chip can plow through that can of Fancy Feast in three minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Trump's 2020 Campaign Was a Monumental Grift

About a half of the money raised was funnelled off by Kusher and the Trump family:

Jared Kushner approved the creation of a shell company that operated like a “campaign within a campaign” and secretly funneled millions of dollars in campaign cash to Trump family members, Business Insider reports. The company, American Made Media Consultants Corporation and American Made Media Consultants LLC, took more than half of the Trump campaign’s massive $1.26 billion war chest and was largely shielded from having to publicly report financial details. However, a source told Business Insider that Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump was the company’s president, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew was its VP, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman was treasurer and secretary.

More here and here.

That explains the reports that the Trump campaign couldn't afford to match Biden's spending late in the campaign. Funnelling money through a shell corporation to skim off cash is an old Trump family trick,

Trump and his family have played their donors for suckers.

Toljaso.

Loser Trump's Silence is Deafening; Putin's Poodle Ed.

The US energy department is the latest agency to confirm it has been breached in what is being described as the worst-ever hack on the US government.

The department is responsible for managing US nuclear weapons, but said the arsenal's security had not been compromised.

Tech giant Microsoft also said on Thursday that it had found malicious software in its systems.

Many suspect the Russian government is responsible. It has denied any role.

The US treasury and commerce departments are among the other targets of the sophisticated, months-long breach, which was first acknowledged by officials on Sunday.

What has Trump had to say? Nothing. No fucking comment whatsoever.

The reason is obvious: The reporting is that the Russians were behind it. This massive hack is akin to an act of war and Trump can't be bothered to do anything other than continue rage-tweeting about his shellacking at the hads of Joe Biden. Besides his childish butthurt over losing the election, Trump has always been deeply reluctant to say anything bad about the Russians. You can bet heavily that if the reports were that the Iranians or the Chinese were behind it, that the Trump Administration, if not Trump himself, would have been all over the airwaves, promising to get to the bottom of it and retaliate appropriately. But since it's the Russians who evidently were behind it, not a peep.

Which begs the question: What do the Russians have on him that makes him act like a virtual employee of Vladimir Putin? Did they buy up his paper, so that the Russians own his debts (and him)? Do they have seriously compromising information on Trump?

The Russians have to have something on him, for Trump does not have a record of turning the other cheek.

And why is it that Republicans, other than Mitt Romney, seem to also be keeping silent?

Because It's Friday

A steam freight train in the 21st Century.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

It Costs a Lot to Buy New Locks for the Next Tropical Storm Season

Multimillionaire televangelist Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas netted $4.4 millionin bailouts through the federal COVID-19 relief program, records show.

The Houston megachurch, the largest in the nation with 52,000 weekly congregants, received the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan in late July, the Houston Business Journal reported Sunday.

The loan was the third-highest in the Houston area during all of July and August, the outlet noted, citing federal data.


Definately needs better locks.

I suspect that Osteen could have paid for that out of what's fallen between the couch cushions on his Airbus (he, or his church, has an A-319) or his yacht.

Mid-December Snowstorm

While it's made local TV almost unwatchable, as they indulge themselves in wall-to-wall coverage of what is really a routine event in the northern tier of states, please be careful.

In many areas, this is a wet snow, of the kind that some call "heart-attack snow".

This is not the time to get a heart attack or other injury from shoveling snow. Most of the hospitals are busy enough, right now.

Trumpanzees at Work

These people exist and they have guns:

A former Houston police captain, who the authorities said was investigating a voter fraud conspiracy theory for a conservative activist group, was arrested and charged with pointing his gun at an air-conditioner repairman he had pursued to try to uncover fraudulent ballots, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The former captain, Mark A. Aguirre, 63, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and then freed on $30,000 bail, on Tuesday.

According to a police affidavit, Mr. Aguirre struck the repairman’s box truck with his sport utility vehicle on the morning of Oct. 19. When the man got out of his truck, Mr. Aguirre pointed a handgun at him, ordered him to get on the ground and pressed a knee into his back, it said.

This is about one notch better than the idiot who showed up at a pizza joint with a rifle.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

LARPing with a M-1 Carbine

Gun Jesus does it:



Some years ago, I moved from a 2A free state to one that is quite a bit restrictive. I sold my AR-15 and magazines (for a lot less than I could have gotten, now) and other stuff, though, to be fair, a lot of that was due to a felt need to offset some medical bills. But I felt the need for a repeater to replace it. I considered a M-1 carbine, but opted for a SKS because of both ammo availability and the fact that I could get a boatload of stripper clips for the cost of a couple of ten-round magazines.

But I still would like one.

Baghdad Bob on the Potomac

As Republicans began discussing a Biden presidency more openly on Tuesday, Trump still pledged to press forward with almost nonexistent legal options.

“Tremendous evidence pouring in on voter fraud. There has never been anything like this in our Country!” Trump tweeted just as members of his party were publicly recognizing Biden’s victory.
...
“The president is still involved in ongoing litigation related to the election,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, calling the Electoral College vote “one step in the constitutional process.”

Poor Kayleigh. For a supposedly Harvard-educated lawyer[1], she's coming across as one of the dumber people working in the West Wing, and under Trump, that's a very low bar.

Meanwhile, even Moscow Mitch has had enough with seditious Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Republican senators Tuesday during a private caucus call not to object to the election results on Jan. 6, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

McConnell told his caucus that challenging the results would force Republicans to take a “terrible vote” because they would need to vote it down and appear against President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also echoed McConnell’s remarks.
...
Several House Republicans, led by hard-line conservative Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), are still planning to challenge the election results on Jan. 6, the date Congress will officially certify them. If a Republican senator joins the long-shot effort, however, it will force both chambers to take a vote on the election. But they have yet to get official buy-in from any GOP senators, though Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hasn't ruled it out.

Frankly, I'd like to see them try. There is zero chance of success. Any vote that could threaten to tear apart the husk of the Republican party would be a plus for the nation. The GOP has become a party that lives in an illogical reality, where ideology is all and facts simply don't matter. Furthermore, it had long become a revanchist party, which yearns for a time when white men had priority over everyone else, women stayed home cooking meals and plopping out babies and all of those people knew their place, which was to work hard jobs for low pay and never go within a mile of a voting booth. The cops said "sir" and "ma'am" to white people of status, administered hickory shampoos to white trash and gay men, and, as far as those people were concerned, they could be shot dead with impunity.[2]

One would think that there could be a role in this country for a conservative party that operates from a position of taking solid science and then applying conservative principles to things that need to be done. If the science is clear on something, conservtives could argue for an approach that incorporates market principles rather than government mandates. But the current conservative party starts out by burying their head in the sand and pretending that problems don't exist.[3] They could do much better and make a stab at competing in the marketplace of ideas, instead of relying on trying to rig the game.
______________
1. Has anyone seen her diploma?
2. Usually in the back.
3. If the current iteration of Republicans were in power back then, we'd still have leaded gas, leaded paint and no pollution controls or safety equipment in vehicles.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Trump the Seditious Loser Keeps Right on Losing

Trump lost again in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Electoral College voted to elect Joe Biden the next president.But Trump the Seditious Sore Loser and his Duty Fascist keep threatening to bite Biden in the ankles if Biden gets close enough.

Bon Voyage, Henri



Henri le Chat Noir has died. He was 17. The Internet is mourning

(H/T)

Operation Just Let Them Speak Continues

Gov. Ron DeSantis just a few days ago said that Americans need to unify behind the science that has led to the rapid development of vaccines. So it was a bit strange that DeSantis on Friday said that perhaps the number of Florida residents who receive COVID-19 vaccinations could be boosted — by not following Pfizer Inc.’s recommended instructions for its vaccine candidate.
...
Instead of giving two doses, as recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, to high-risk populations such as nursing home residents and front-line hospital workers, perhaps one dose could do, the Governor suggested Friday.

So, instead of following the dosing regimen that was determined by actual scientific tests by people who are professionals at that, ol' Gov. DeathSentence thinks its better to not properly vaccinate Floridians.

One dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 52% effective, two doses are 95% effective. That's from, you know, actual research.

But Florida Man who is serving as a governor thinks he knows better. This is from the same low-wattage jerkoff who is suppressing a Whtie House Task Force report that contradicts his cherished beliefs.

No wonder Trump is moving to Florida. The governor there is as dumb as Trump is.

Biden's Aides are Smoking Crack If They Think This Will Happen (and Why the U.S. May Be Done as a Democracy)

Joe Biden’s aides have a message for President Donald Trump and his supporters: It’s long past time to move on.

They aren't going to. you can tell the Trumpanzees until you're blue in the face that Biden won 81 milion votes and none of them will listen. They are only listening to seditionists like Limbaugh and The Great Orange Narcissist who are promoting their "we were stabbed in the back" myth.[1]

We have, in this country a significant number of people who don't believe in fair elections. They only believe in elections if Trump wins. If Trump loses, it can't be fair.

Couple this with Trump's political party, which is openly saying that the key to winning an election is to prevent people from voting, at least those people.[2] They want voting to be as hard as possible, at least in some neighborhoods.[3] They can't win a contest of ideas, of political philosophies, so they have to rely on race-baiting and fraudulent claims of massive voter fraud.

Which, by the way, doesn't exist. Trump and his cabal of sheet-wearers formed a voter fraud task force in 2017, which closed a year later after finding nothing.[4]

How do you have a functioning democracy when one side makes its mission to deny people the right to vote? It took a hundred years to stop the Southern fascists from overtly denying people the right to vote, but they are still at it by other means. And now, when the forces of racial fascism lose, they cry that there had to be fraud because their efforts to keep people from voting didn't pay off.

How do you have a functioning Democracy when one side refuses to accept it when they lose?[5] Don't be surprised when the Cabal of Sedition starts blaming the Jews, as some are already inching there.
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[1] A myth that didn't work out well for Germany.
[2] Blacks, Latinos, young people and women.
[3] Those where minorities and poor people live.
[4] Trump, a hard-core conspiracy whackaloon, cast the failure of his task force to find meaningful fraud as more proof that the conspiracy to commit voter fraud was really working.
[5] Before the "bothsiderists" kick in, allow me to point out that Hillary Clinton conceded to Donald Trump. Despite the protests in Washington the day after Inauguration Day, few were saying that the election was stolen. Thsoe were protests to let Trump and the GOP know that the opponents of Trumpism hadn't been cowed. Unlike now; this time, the sore losers are saying that they didn't lose. They were stabbed in the back.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Just Going to Leave These Here









More Lies From Team Trump's Lawyers

The witness is code-named “Spyder.” Or sometimes “Spider.” His identity is so closely guarded that lawyer Sidney Powell has sought to keep it even from opposing counsel. And his account of vulnerability to international sabotage is a key part of Powell’s failing multistate effort to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Powell describes Spyder in court filings as a former “Military Intelligence expert,” and his testimony is offered to support one of her central claims. In a declaration filed in four states, Spyder alleges that publicly available data about server traffic shows that voting systems in the United States were “certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China.”

Sounds damning, no? Except that it's all a lie. Powell's mystery witness wasn't a military intel analyst. He was a wheeled-vehicle mechanic, who left the Army as an E-4 after ten years of service.

Records show that Merritt is an Army veteran and that he enrolled in a training program at the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, the unit he cites in his declaration. But he never completed the entry-level training course, according to Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, which includes the battalion.

“He kept washing out of courses,” said Mingledorff, citing his education records. “He’s not an intelligence analyst.”

In an interview, Merritt maintained that he graduated from the intelligence training program. But even by his own account, he was only a trainee with the 305th, at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and for just seven months more than 15 years ago.

His separation papers, which he provided to The Post, make no mention of intelligence training. They show that he spent the bulk of his decade in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said he worked in security and route clearance. He held the rank of specialist when he was honorably discharged in 2013, having received several commendations.

As the article explains, the 305th MI Battallion is a training outfit. They analyze nothing. This self-styled "military intelligence expert" couldn't complete the inital training courses. he was an E-4 who was, in essence, pushed out at the end of his enlsitment because the Army has little use for career members of the E-4 Mafia.

Gee. So it seems that one of Trump's lawyers has been repeatedly fibbing to several courts over the strength of her case and the qualification of her witnesses. "I can prove corruption, my expert witness, a truck mechanic, saw the conspiracy!"

Funny thing: Most good lawyers know that shading the truth in filings to a court is a very bad thing. It causes the judges hearing the case to treat what the lawyer says with considerable skepticism. Even bad lawyers know that if one really fibs to a court and gets a judge upset, that can result in disciplinary action.

But the rules always seem to be different for Team Trump.

The Roster of Sedition and Shame

Here is a list of the seditious bastards who tried to assit Trump in his misbegotten coup attempt:

First, the attorneys general, the chief law enforcement officers of their states, who joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in this legal monstrosity: Eric Schmitt, Missouri (he goes first because Missouri filed the brief); Steve Marshall, Alabama; Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas; Ashley Moody, Florida; Curtis Hill, Indiana; Derek Schmidt, Kansas; Jeff Landry, Louisiana; Lynn Fitch, Mississippi; Tim Fox, Montana; Doug Peterson, Nebraska; Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota; Mike Hunter, Oklahoma; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota; Herbert H. Slatery III, Tennessee; Sean Reyes, Utah; Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia.

Second, the House members, including McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise (La.); Jim Jordan (Ohio), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee; Kevin Brady (Tex.), ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Gary Palmer (Ala.), head of the Republican Policy Committee; and Mike Johnson (La.), who organized this constitutional abomination.

The rest, listed in order of their home state: Alabama (Robert B. Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne), Arizona (Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko), Arkansas (Eric A. “Rick” Crawford, Bruce Westerman), California (Ken Calvert, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock), Colorado (Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn), Florida (Gus M. Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Michael Waltz, Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho), Georgia (Rick Allen, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Douglas A. Collins, Drew Ferguson, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Austin Scott), Idaho (Russ Fulcher, Mike Simpson), Illinois (Mike Bost, Darin LaHood), Indiana (Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Jackie Walorski), Iowa (Steve King), Kansas (Ron Estes, Roger Marshall), Louisiana (Ralph Abraham, Clay Higgins).

Maryland (Andy Harris), Michigan (Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, Tim Walberg), Minnesota (Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn, Pete Stauber), Mississippi (Michael Guest, Trent Kelly, Steven M. Palazzo), Missouri (Sam Graves, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason T. Smith, Ann Wagner), Montana (Greg Gianforte), Nebraska (Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith), New Jersey (Gregory Steube, Jeff Van Drew), New York (Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin), North Carolina (Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy, David Rouzer, Mark Walker), Ohio (Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Robert E. Latta, Brad Wenstrup), Oklahoma (Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin).

Pennsylvania (John Joyce, Frederick B. Keller, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson), South Carolina (Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, William Timmons, Joe Wilson), Tennessee (Tim Burchett, Scott DesJarlais, Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann, Mark Green, David Kustoff, John Rose), Texas (Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Michael C. Burgess, Michael Cloud, K. Michael Conaway, Dan Crenshaw, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Lance Gooden, Kenny Marchant, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, Ron Wright), Virginia (Ben Cline, H. Morgan Griffith, Rob Wittman, Ron Wright), Washington (Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse), West Virginia (Carol Miller, Alex Mooney), Wisconsin (Tom Tiffany).

So much for the party that believes in federalism, hates activist judges and, now, endorses states rights. They all advocated using the judiciary to overturn election results in states that displeased them.

They believe only in loyalty to Trump. Not a single person listed above is loyal to the United States of America. They have all taken a massive dump on the Constitution and, by so doing, have betrayed their oath of office. Every one of them, if they had even an ounce of personal integrity, shoud resign their offices. They are all seditious losers, who deserve to be shunned by true patriots.

I am confident that history will judge them poorly. But hell, I'm not waiting around for that.

So, if you agree, do your part to ensure that their bout of sedition is remembered.

Trump Defiles Everything He Touches

The U.S. gave the final go-ahead Friday to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.
...
While the FDA decision came only after public review of data from a huge ongoing study, it has also been dogged by intense political pressure from the Trump administration, which has accused the agency of being too slow and even threatened to remove FDA chief Stephen Hahn if a ruling did not come Friday.

Was their some last review, some procedural steps, that were skipped over because Trump pressured the FDA to act? We may not soon know the answer to that.

But what we do know is that if it turns out that there is a significant problem with the Pfizer vaccine, a problem for which there was an indication in the clinical trials that was not noticed or glossed over, that problem will be blamed on Trump. The argument willb e "but for Trump, the FDa would have noticed the problem."

The smart thing, both politically and scientifically, would have been for Trump to keep his fat yap shut and let the FDA do its work. But that's not Trump's style.

Caturday

Priss is on guard to chase off the other tuxedo cat that has been hanging around recently:

Friday, December 11, 2020

Even More Losing for Trump and His Band of Seditious Bastards

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a lawsuit backed by President Donald Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory, ending a desperate attempt to get legal issues rejected by state and federal judges before the nation’s highest court.

The Electoral College votes on Monday, so that was the last gasp of the Confederation of Seditious Bastards.


Sepaking of sedition, there is an argument that the 126 congressmen who signed onto Texas's seditious petition could be denied their seats in the House of Representative under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. I don't think that the Democrats have the balls to try this, though.

Elsewhere, Among What's Left of Conservatives Who Still Believe in Democracy

Lord knows that I've spent a lot of pixels beating up on Jeb Bush, but he, saints preserve us, is making sense:

Linda Chavez, who is hardly a liberal, had some harsh words for her fellow conservatives:

The intellectual dishonesty here is breathtaking. For individuals and organizations that champion the rule of law and claim the mantle of the founding principles of our nation to call for overturning an election reeks of hypocrisy. It was one thing for them to advocate for so flawed a man as Trump to lead our nation. But the American people have spoken and to continue to claim that the election was stolen, that votes were fraudulently counted, is to attack the very foundations of our democratic institutions. They sow distrust in democracy itself—formerly the provenance of the far left. Politicians may fear the wrath of Trump’s legion of followers if they speak out, but what is it that drives the “thinkers” like [Bill] Bennett and [John] Eastman? They should know better than to parrot insane conspiracy theories and promote specious legal arguments.

While I am generally content to be the age that I am and to have had the experiences that I have had, when it comes to this topic, I wish that I had another sixty years on this world in order to remind conservatives, at every possible chance, just how hypocritical they have been and how disloyal they have been to the Constitution. I do intend to remind every Repubican of this and that if they didn't speak up against Trump's coup attempt, that they had to have been in favor of it.

Meanwhile. Lucasfilm is really going to make another run at nuking the fridge. This bullshit has been talked about for awhile, but it appears that they are going to do it.

Trump the Seditious Bastard Keeps on Losing.

President Donald Trump lost a Wisconsin lawsuit Friday seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots and overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, the latest in a string of legal defeats.

So much losing!

Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel apologized to its readers for endorsing a congresman who hates democracy:

We apologize to our readers for endorsing Michael Waltz in the 2020 general election for Congress.

We had no idea, had no way of knowing at the time, that Waltz was not committed to democracy.

During our endorsement interview with the incumbent congressman, we didn’t think to ask, “Would you support an effort to throw out the votes of tens of millions of Americans in four states in order to overturn a presidential election and hand it to the person who lost, Donald Trump?”

Our bad.

It'll be interesting to see how many other papers follow their lead and disavow pas support of members of the Sedition Caucus.

Because It's Friday

SP 4501

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Roster of Traitors

106 House Republicans have signed onto Trump's judical coup attempt.

Every last one of them is a slimy gutless weasel who is fearful of Trump. They are craven cowards who are unwilling to live up to their oath of office. They join the ranks of the states' attorney-generals who should be summarily disbarred.

Their name should be engraved on a Monument to Cowardice. Every one of them should be shunned by those who have served this nation, and by everyone who regards themselves as being a patriot.

Every one of them should be given a free one-way ticket to a nation that is more in tune with their belief that the votes of the people mean nothing: Turkey and Russia should be prime destinations.

Every one of them should disavow their American citizenship, for they are all traitors to the Constitution.

A Math Quiz For Conservatives

1) Which number is larger: a) 81,282,896 or b) 74,222,484?

2) Which number is larger: a) 306 or b) 232?

1(a) is the number of votes Biden received. 1(b) is the number of votes Trump received. Similarly, 2(a) is the number of electoral votes for Biden, 2(b) is the number of electoral votes for Trump. Anyone who answered "b" for either question, if not both, is unhinged from reality.

I've been on wingnut blogs proclaiming "Trump got 74 million votes, how could he have lost?" The answer, Sparky, is easy: Biden got 81 million votes. Biden won, not by a plurality, but by a majority. Biden won by seven million votes. Your guy lost fair and square. The legal blatherings have been both an attempt to overcome a free election by a judical coup and the functionings of diseased minds. The legal filings by the Cabal of Sore Losers have gone nowhere.

Anyone who still believes that Trump won is somewhere on the spectrum between delusional and treasonous.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Cat’s Song

I’m the night puker, 
I guess you weren’t ready for that, 
I’m the night puker, 
Because I’m only a cat, yeah yeah yeah.

(It happened on my bed at Oh-Dark-Thirty. Twice in two weeks. The second time, I got him on the floor in time. The first time involved a bit of laundry.)

J'Accuse

I have voted for a lot of Republicans in my time. I've given small donations to some.

No more. When Trump attempted a legalistic coup, almost every Republican, from the clowns on the town council to the U.S. Senate, either were silent or backed Trump.  

I cannot, in good conscience, as a person who swore an oath to defend the Constitution, ever vote for a candidate from a party that did its level best to demolish a free and fair election. Besides filing a bazillion baseless lawsuits, the Republicans have taken the lesson of 2020 to be "it's bad for people to vote". They are an authoritarian party, antidemocratic, and an embarrassment to their self-proclaimed patriotism.

The GOP has shown itself to be a party of crazies, racists and fascists. To my mind, anyone who identifies as a Republican has been tarred by that brush.[1] If conservatism is going to survive as a valid political movement, they need to ditch the GOP and form a new party, as was done in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.

The Republican party has the potential to being a wellspring of domestic terrorism. Their party leader refuses to denounce right-wing terrorism. You could comfortably seat the number of sitting Republican politicians who have denounced Trump's legalistic coup attempt inside a single intercity bus.[2]

I am done with the GOP, forever.
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[1] And if that shoe fits you, Gentle Reader, wear it.
[2] If not a short bus.

Trump: Now With Even More Losing!

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has lost its legal bid to nullify President-elect Joe Biden’s 33,596-vote electoral win in Nevada.

The Nevada Supreme Court issued a terse order late Tuesday upholding a state judge’s dismissal of a contest-of-election case that would have either had the Republican president declared the winner in Nevada or blocked the state’s six electoral votes from going to Biden. The nationwide Electoral College tally is next Monday.

“Appellants have not pointed to any unsupported factual findings, and we have identified none,” the justices said.

And more losing:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Republicans’ last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the electoral battleground.

The court without comment refused to call into question the certification process in Pennsylvania. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf already has certified Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump and the state’s 20 electors are to meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes for Biden.

The Party of Treason's attempt to engineer a coup through the courts is failing miserably because judges from across the political spectrum have shown themselves to be loyal to the Constitution, not to Trump.

Unlike most Repubican politicians, who have proven, by their actions and, more commonly, their silence to be gutless craven cowards, unwilling to buck their party's petit-fuhrer.

I have littke doubt the the most recent attempt by the Trumpists to use the courts to carry out a coup will fail. Amnd make no mistake, an coup is exactly what the Republicans are trying to pull off.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Slip-Streaming on the Grift

When Donald J. Trump’s childhood home in Queens was on the market four years ago, Mr. Trump, then a candidate for president, publicly mused about buying it himself.

Now, he might not have to: The home’s latest owner is launching a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of giving the five-bedroom Tudor in Jamaica Estates to the president as a gift — once the $3 million price tag is met.

The unusual real estate maneuver seeks to capitalize on the devotion of some of Mr. Trump’s supporters, in the hopes that the same commitment that has driven them to attend his large rallies in the middle of a pandemic will also induce them to open their wallets. The sellers hope donations might also be fueled by an impulse to mollify Mr. Trump with a personalized parting gift as his presidential term nears its end.

The article goes on to show how prvious owners have been trying to capitalize on the fact that Our National Orange-Haired Dumpster Fire lived there when he was a child. His family moved away when he was four, so it's not as though he would remember it.

But this is just another Trump-related grift, though not by anyone who is associated with Trump. So far as we know.

Chuck Yeager Goes West

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the “right stuff” when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound, has died. He was 97.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Trump Failed to Procure Enough Vaccine for Americans

The Trump administration opted last summer not to lock in a chance to buy millions of additional doses of one of the leading coronavirus vaccine contenders, a decision that could delay the delivery of a second batch of doses until manufacturer Pfizer fulfills other international contracts.

The revelation, confirmed Monday by people familiar with the matter, came a day before President Donald Trump aimed to take credit for the speedy development of forthcoming coronavirus vaccines at a White House summit Tuesday.

Vaccine development and procurement was supposedly being done like a wartime program: Identify problems and throw money at them until they're fixed. Fund multiple lines of development so you can get at least one thing that works. It's better to have too much than not enough.

The Army Air Force was a master of this during the war. They bought several different makers' fighters. For a long-range heavy bomber, they first bought the B-17 and the B-24, then for a very heavy, bought the B-29 and the B-32.

In the midst of a national emergency is no time to cut corners, to cheap out. But that's what Trump did.

And we may pay heavily for it. But one thing has been clear from day 1 of this pandemic: Trump doesn't give a fuck about the American people.